Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Varking With Val:
So Long, Acclaim Comics

(I was inspired to write this after reading Andy Schmidt's "Goodbye To Marvel" column. Of course, what I'm writing is silly, damned silly)

Varking With Val
vol. 1,
April 25, 1998
Copyright Val Your Pal, 1998

Leaving Acclaim Comics

I was a girl with a dream -- making it in the comic book industry. Living in New York my whole life, what the hell sort of excuse did I have not to? I mean, I suck at Finance. So when a co-worker told me that she was banging the president of Valiant (soon to be Acclaim) Comics, I saw it as a golden opportunity. That was about two-and-a-half years ago. As I write this, I am watching "Ricki Lake" at 4:00 in the afternoon shoving little tiny powdered donuts in my mouth. I'm unemployed.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been ignoring the e-mails and phone calls from the freelancers whom I worked with on a day to basis. A lot of the subject headings on the e-mails are like "WTF?" and "is my book cancelled?" After I am done shoving the little powdered donuts in my mouth I will assure them that if their books are not one of the 75% that are being axed then it will be taken up by one of the two editors who are being retained and relocated to Long Island. Other than that, I gots nuthin'.

Our Editor-In-Chief said he knew this day was coming one day and was sad to see me go. He gave me a really boss letter of recommendation that I hope I can milk and reuse for years to come. He also said I can take with me as many copies of Turok #1 as I want.

The staff, talented writers, artists and colorists I've met at Acclaim have each taught me something new about comics and only served to deepen my love for the medium. But most of all, we had a lot of fun drinking at the Triple Crown, wearing sombreros, and beating each other silly with foam bats.

Oh, what happened to that dream of mine? Why am I leaving? Believe me, that’s a question I’ve been asking myself often as well as God and Miss Cleo. Well basically, are books really weren't making enough money to justify the continued employment of most of our staff. That's ok, I understand. Comic books aren't making a shitload of money at the moment. I get it. Really. Well that, and the "Quantum & Woody" Goat in-action figures really screwed us over.

Two independent desires have conspired against my editorial career. The first is that of my Mom, who wanted me to be a doctor. She always considered my time at Acclaim as a "school project." With the pay I was making at the time, I really couldn't convince her otherwise. But there is another reason, besides the awesome financial collapse of the Acclaim comic book division, that has led me away from comics' hallowed halls.

Since I was in high school, I’ve loved being a dominatrix. It's good exercise, builds self-esteem, and the guys really dig it. Of course, I'm not doing it for the mere enjoyment of the Patriarchy, but for my own edification. I can (I hope) earn an income domming on a freelance basis, or at the very least maybe be a rodeo clown.

I’ve also been asked if I’m really ready to leave Acclaim. The answer to that is "hells no." I have like $300 in the bank and only type with one hand. Maybe the unopened boxes of "Batman the Movie" cereal that I socked away might bail me out a little bit, either on the secondary collector's market or simply as food. That said, I’m thrilled to say that I really haven't fell into a morbid depression or anything. I have to hang on to find out what happens on Xena, X-Files, and Buffy. And there are also all those little powdered donuts to be eaten. I'm really filling that red leather halter dress with the spikes out rather nicely.

I could go on and on about all the nonexistent projects I could plug, and how I'm not bitter, and all that. But I'm not really bitter. There is just no money in this industry, no stability, and I'm through with it. I'm never going back to comics again. Ever.

Goodbye, Comics. Hello, bright new future.

The best is yet to come.


P.S.: If anyone would like to buy some "Valiant Voyeurs" or an issue of "Turok" #1, please contact me.

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